Mobile Carnival Museum

Past Exhibit Gallery

Past Thematic Exhibit Series

March – October 2023

Setting the Sideboards and Emptying the Vaults:

Carnival and Silver

That Carnival, with Mardi Gras at its height, is a glittering sequence of occasions goes without saying. While gold is one of three colors of Mardi Gras, silver is an all-important hue. Silver is more than color though. The Carnival-attuned objects created from or rendered in this sensational shade are staggering in their number, design, use, and spirit. Setting the Sideboards and Emptying the Vaults: Carnival and Silver showcases all that pertains to the marvelous metal and lovely tone when it comes to Mardi Gras.

The twelfth show in the Mobile Carnival Museum’s exhibit thematic series, Setting the Sideboard and Emptying the Vaults is the first celebration of the decorative arts of Carnival. The exhibit is also the first exhibit on Mobile-attuned silver in over three decades. Fourteen groupings embracing topics as distinct as association, purpose, gender, object, and much else inform Carnival and Silver. The fourteen groupings are as follows: bodacious barware; familial-focused homages; posh presentation pieces; ball-associated collections; fantastic florals; “smoking” accoutrements; fabulous favors; trinkets for the ladies; rocking royal offerings; toys for the gents; remarkable ritual artifacts; regal kings’ suppers; timeless textiles; and Carnival currency. Highlights of the exhibit include a grouping of four Strikers Independent Society (SIS) vases, Order of Myths (OOMs) “bucket,” beloved Infant Mystic “Catt” jiggers, and other precious displays.